MONROVIA, Md. — The Maryland Agriculture Council, Inc., welcomed newly inaugurated Governor Wes Moore and Lt. Governor Aruna Miller, along with a record number of legislators and attendees at the 53rd Taste of Maryland Agriculture on Thursday, February 2, at Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland in Hanover.
Over 800 agricultural leaders shared their farming stories and concerns with lawmakers during the evening’s networking format, while enjoying a bounty of Maryland agricultural products.
During the evening’s program, President Karen Engel shared her passion for growing up on a farm and encouraged the Governor and legislators to visit farms and the rural community. “We want you to gain an understanding and knowledge of why we do what we do. We want you to have the experience, so you can be informed to make educated decision that impact our livelihood.
Governor, we appreciated your mantra of ‘leave no one behind’ – and we hope that includes the hard-working farmers and agribusinesses that continue to feed, clothe, and fuel all Marylanders.”
In fulfilling the Council’s mission to promote Maryland Agriculture and educate the public on its importance, the board awarded almost $5,000 in agricultural education grants. Five outstanding grassroots programs were honored, including:
Bulls in a Barn Podcast – Maryland LEAD Fellows – $1,000
Funds will be used to invest in professional audio and video equipment for a podcast highlighting issues impacting Maryland agriculture. The goal of the podcast is to have guest speakers discuss various topics and issues that will be educational for the audience, and eventually travel the state interviewing farmers, experts, and industry leaders.
University of Maryland Extension-Carroll County – $1,000
Grant will assist in covering the cost of supplies for hands-on experiments and first aid kit materials for a one-day educational Animal Science Round Up. Programming for youth will include instruction in the areas of dairy, small animals, and horses.
Prince George’s Soil Conservation District – $800
Funds will be used to design and print a rack card to promote the benefits and opportunities within the agricultural career field to parents and students and encourage enrollment in and the growth of the county’s Environment, Agriculture and Natural Resources program.
Institute of Applied Agriculture-University of Maryland – $770
Grant will be used to procure equipment to teach the up-and-coming agricultural drone course offered by the Institute of Applied Agriculture. The classes will introduce students to cutting edge agricultural practices, instantly monitoring every single crop, every day at every point of the growing season.
University of Maryland-Harford County 4-H – $630
Funding will assist in designing and purchasing a portable agricultural activity area that can travel to the county fair, public school classrooms, outreach programs and workshops, allowing young children to have hands-on activities that encourages and fosters an interest in agriculture.
Governor Moore and Acting Secretary of Agriculture Kevin Atticks inducted the Daniel Fritz Family of Carroll County into the Governor’s Agriculture Hall of Fame to conclude the program.
“I appreciate that agriculture is Maryland’s top industry with its economic impact of nearly $20 billion and I applaud our farmers for their contribution to our economy, as well as our heritage, and our health,” said Governor Moore. “Congratulations to the Fritz family and congratulations to the Maryland Agriculture Council on over 50 years of hosting this event.”
For more information on the Maryland Agriculture Council, go to www.mdadcouncil.com or contact Executive Director Susan Summers at 240-446-3601.
–Susan Summers, Maryland Agriculture Council